relationship building for couples Maintaining a successful marriage can be very difficult. Because people change over time, so do relationships. When two people initially get together there is the excitement and passion of a new relationship. During this time of early commitment, each person has the expectation that things will feel wonderful forever. After a few of years the couple begins to notice that there are differences in beliefs and how each would like to handle various situations. During this period of discovery, many couples experience disagreements and differences of opinion, but they don’t talk about it. They tend to hold back, fearing an increase in disagreements. They are struggling to find a way to go beyond being two people in a relationship to two people who are truly sharing their lives together. Unfortunately, avoiding conflicts doesn’t make them go away. In fact, if issues are being talked about a lot but are not accompanied by problem solving, there can be increased frustration and distancing from one another. With this drifting, many couples choose one of two courses of action: (1) they become disillusioned and pull away from one another more, ending in an emotional or complete separation, or (2) they recognize that they have not been making the necessary commitment to invest in creating a successful partnership. Below are a few suggestions on how couples can begin to ensure that they are making the necessary investment in their commitment :
  1. Each person must validate the other. Listen without interrupting when the partner is talking. Each party must accept and acknowledge how his or her spouse feels.
  2. Since life is hectic, the couples should see to it that they are spending adequate time together. During this time, they should be focusing on one another and their relationship.
  3. Couples must make a good faith effort to genuinely share their lives cooperatively.
  4. Each person must have positive thoughts about their partner in their hearts and in their heads. This can be achieved by creating a list of positive attributes and reminding each of these attributes on a regular basis.
Many couples find that with recommitment to each other, they feel as if they have found the excitement that they originally experienced. Some couples find that they need professional help to truly reconnect. Whatever the approach, reconnection may be possible. LaSandra L. McGrew is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private practice in Brandon. If you have any questions or comments about this article, or you have a topic that you would like to hear more about, please contact LaSandra at .



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